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Mexican president doxes New York Times correspondent during press conference

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday made public the contact information for The New York Times bureau in Mexico, which is ranked 153rd out of 179 countries in the 2023 Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.

López Obrador, a fierce critic of both domestic and foreign media, showed the bureau’s contact information on a large screen during his daily hours-long press conference, where he often rails against political adversaries and calls balls and strikes on his perceived fairness of media coverage.

The president’s screen displayed a formal request for comments from Natalie Kitroeff, the New York Times bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, which López Obrador read word-for-word with commentary, including reading out loud the displayed contact phone number.

According to Reporters Without Borders, 46 journalists have been killed in Mexico during López Obrador’s administration. The country’s criminal gangs are notorious for their use of violence against journalists who cover their activities.

The New York Times’s request, sent to López Obrador spokesman Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, dealt with an alleged U.S. government investigation into recent ties between associates of the president and organized crime.

The Hill has reached out to the Times and to Ramírez’s office for comment.

The paper’s investigation follows the publication of three articles by InSight Crime, ProPublica and Deutsche Welle, which outlined another U.S.-led investigation into direct financial connections during the 2006 presidential campaign between the Sinaloa Cartel and López Obrador’s then-closest assistant.

The allegations, coupled with López Obrador’s hands-off approach to organized crime, have fired up Mexican opposition leaders, who are leaning heavily on signs of cartel-influenced corruption in López Obrador’s inner circle in their pitch to voters ahead of June’s federal election.

López Obrador has brushed off any accusations and dared the Biden administration to give credence or deny the reports, which in the 2006 case cites Drug Enforcement Administration officials and in the case of the upcoming New York Times article is based on a U.S. government investigation, according to the letter read by López Obrador.

“This is interesting because the government of the United States is now going to have to [respond],” he said.

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